Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Books

Times' Craig Pittman among Tampa Bay authors to win Florida Book Awards

Tampa Bay authors were awarded handsomely in the 2016 Florida Book Awards, the winners of which were announced Saturday.

Tampa Bay Times environmental reporter Craig Pittman won the gold medal for Florida nonfiction for his book Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country.

Pittman's book, a look at some of the state's most unusual events, has received international attention.

"I greatly appreciate any recognition for a book that was turned down by several publishers who didn't think the rest of the country wanted to know much about Florida," he said. "This recognition means so much more because it's coming from my fellow Floridians."

His 2013 book, The Scent of Scandal: Greed, Betrayal, and the World's Most Beautiful Orchid, won a silver medal in the same category.

Other Tampa Bay area winners include two University of South Florida creative writing professors. Jay Hopler won the gold medal for poetry for The Abridged History of Rainfall, which was also a finalist for the National Book Award. Ira Sukrungruang took the bronze medal for general fiction for his story collection The Melting Season. Ward Larsen of Sarasota won the silver for popular fiction for Passenger 19.

The awards, coordinated by the Florida State University Libraries, are given annually in 10 categories. More than 200 books were submitted for 2016. Authors must be full-time Florida residents, except in Florida nonfiction and visual arts categories, where subject matter must focus on Florida.

The winners will be honored at an awards banquet on April 12 in Tallahassee.

Young children's literature Gold/Reichert Award

Big Cat, Ethan Long

Older children's literature

Gold: The First Last Day, Dorian Cirrone

Silver: Return Fire, Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Bronze: Framed! A T.O.A.S.T Mystery, James Ponti

Florida nonfiction

Gold: Oh Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, Craig Pittman

Silver: White Sand, Black Beach: Civil Rights, Public Space and Miami's Virginia Key, Gregory W. Bush

Bronze: Music Everywhere: The Rock and Roll Roots of a Southern Town, Marty Jourard

General fiction

Gold: The Other Traitor, Sharon Potts

Silver: Sparrow in the Wind, S. Rose

Bronze: The Melting Season, Ira Sukrungruang

General nonfiction

Gold: Lassoing the Sun, Mark Woods

Silver: Beyond Integration, J. Michael Butler

Bronze: Kingdoms in the Air, Bob Shacochis

Poetry

Gold: The Abridged History of Rainfall, Jay Hopler

Silver: Latest Volcano, Tana Jean Welch

Bronze: Hour of the Ox, Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

Popular fiction

Gold: Storm Crashers, Richard Wickliffe

Silver: Passenger 19, Ward Larsen

Bronze: A Murder of Crows, Tom Lowe

Spanish language

Gold: La Casa Viejo y Ortros Relatos (The Old House and Other Stories), Isabel Garcia Cintas

Visual arts

Gold: Tropical Light: The Art of A.E. Backus, Natasha Kuzmanovic

Silver: Saints of Old Florida, Melissa Farrell, Christina McDermott, Emily Raffield

Bronze: E.G. Barnhill: Florida Photographer, Adventurer, Entrepreneur, Gary Monroe

Young adult

Gold: All We Have Left, Wendy Mills

Silver: Autofocus, Lauren Gibaldi

Bronze: The Homecoming, Stacie Ramey

   
Comments
Amy Hill Hearth’s ‘Streetcar to Justice’ brings back a forgotten story of black history

Amy Hill Hearth’s ‘Streetcar to Justice’ brings back a forgotten story of black history

During Black History Month, many students learn about Rosa Parks, the civil rights activist who in 1955 refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white passenger — and rode into history.A century before that, another black woman mad...
Published: 02/20/18
Notable: Five new books for young readers for Black History Month

Notable: Five new books for young readers for Black History Month

NotableBlack History MonthHere are five more newly published books for young readers, for Black History Month or any time.Chasing King’s Killer: The Hunt for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Assassin (Scholastic Press, ages 12 and up) by James L. Swanson, w...
Published: 02/20/18
‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

‘Hello, Universe’ and ‘Wolf in the Snow’ top American Library Association awards for books for young readers

The American Library Association announced its 2018 Youth Media Award winners Monday during its midwinter meeting in Denver.The annual awards honor books, video and audio for children and young adults and are highly regarded guides for booksellers, t...
Published: 02/16/18
Review: Paul Goldberg’s ‘The Chateau’ sets sharp political satire in a Florida condo

Review: Paul Goldberg’s ‘The Chateau’ sets sharp political satire in a Florida condo

The election is fraught with wild allegations and vicious character assassination, accusations of corruption and kickbacks, misspelled messages and outrageous debates — and of course the Russians have their hands all over it.The 2016 presidential rac...
Published: 02/16/18

Events: Dr. Steven Masley to discuss ‘Better Brain Solution’ in Tampa

Book TalkRoslyn Franken (Meant to Be: A True Story of Might, Miracles and Triumph of the Human Spirit) will discuss and sign her memoir at 2 p.m. Feb. 22 at Seminole Community Library, St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N.Dr. Ste...
Published: 02/15/18
Lauren Doyle Owens’ ‘Other Side of Everything’ a suspenseful look at life and death in suburbia

Lauren Doyle Owens’ ‘Other Side of Everything’ a suspenseful look at life and death in suburbia

Adel Minor dies alone, in her three-bedroom ranch house in a South Florida suburb. It’s the fire people notice first, a column of smoke rising amid the 1960s ranch houses of Seven Springs, but once it’s put out the firefighters find Adel, a widow in ...
Published: 02/14/18
Jeremy McCarter, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s co-author, tells us what he’s reading

Jeremy McCarter, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s co-author, tells us what he’s reading

NightstandJeremy McCarterMcCarter, 41, is the co-author with Lin-Manuel Miranda of the book Hamilton: The Revolution. It was McCarter who introduced Miranda to Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of the Public Theater in New York, and that introducti...
Published: 02/14/18
Review: David Pedreira’s ‘Gunpowder Moon’ a gripping story of murder on the lunar surface

Review: David Pedreira’s ‘Gunpowder Moon’ a gripping story of murder on the lunar surface

Gunpowder Moon drops the reader right into the action — and I do mean drops."Dechert stood at the crater rim and looked down," David Pedreira writes in the opening line of his debut novel. "Dionysius was a monster — two miles deep and wide enough to ...
Published: 02/09/18
Amy Bloom’s ‘White Houses’ explores love between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok

Amy Bloom’s ‘White Houses’ explores love between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok

Imagine what it would be like to love someone who belongs to the whole world.When we fall in love, we always compete with other people and forces for our beloved’s attention. Amy Bloom’s smart and tender new novel, White Houses, takes us inside the e...
Published: 02/09/18
Crimes and passion: Three very different kinds of love story

Crimes and passion: Three very different kinds of love story

We love lovers’ stories that pit them against all sorts of obstacles, and these new books do just that — whether it’s a young couple struggling with an unthinkable separation, middle-aged lovers whose affair is heightened by religious guilt, or a guy...
Published: 02/09/18